Fire Libel Unleashed Following Gazan Tragedy

A terrible tragedy has occurred in Gaza, with at least 21 people being killed in a building fire.

At least 21 people, including seven children, were killed Thursday evening when a fire erupted in a residential building in the Jabaliya Camp in the northern Gaza Strip, according to rescue workers and hospital officials.

The blaze erupted on the third floor of a three-story building in the crowded Jabaliya camp, according to the Palestinian terror group Hamas, which rules the Strip. None in the house survived.

Palestinian reports said the vast majority of the fatalities were from a single family — named as Abu Raya — that had gathered together to celebrate the return of a family member from abroad.

The Civil Defense in Gaza, which is run by Hamas, attributed the cause of the fire to gasoline that was being stored in the building. It was not immediately clear how the gasoline ignited, though initial reports indicated that it may have leaked and caught fire when celebrants lit candles.

Israel has agreed to help to assist in the humanitarian evacuation of casualties to Israeli hospitals.

Hussein al-Sheikh, the secretary general of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said he had asked Israel to open northern Gaza’s Erez Crossing for the wounded to get medical treatment out of the Strip if necessary.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz subsequently tweeted that Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians, known as COGAT, had conveyed an offer to assist in humanitarian evacuation of casualties to Israeli hospitals.

“We have offered our assistance in evacuating injured civilians to hospitals via COGAT. The State of Israel is prepared to provide life-saving, medical aid to Gaza residents,” Gantz said, expressing sorrow on behalf of the State of Israel and its security establishment.

Yet predictably, the fire libels have begun. The haters just can’t quite decide which thing to blame on Israel, so they are trying it all.

Accusation: Israel prevents the entry of fire engines into Gaza

This is a lie. Israel has been allowing in firetrucks.

Accusation: Israel to blame for Gaza’s poor infrastructure

This is a lie. Gaza is not the densest place on earth. Its poor infrastructure is due to Hamas misusing funds that could be used to improve the infrastructure, instead diverting them towards things like rocket production and terror tunnels. And while some dual-use materials are restricted from entering Gaza for this very reason, there is no proof a lack of these materials would have made a difference in the case of this fire.

Accusation: Israel to blame for Gazans storing gasoline

We do not know why there was gasoline stored in the building, but even assuming it was to generate electricity, this accusation ignores the fact the Palestinian Authority stopped paying for the electricity Israel provides to Gaza because of their internal power struggle with Hamas.

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media